Editor’s note: The honorees with Edmond connections will be profiled in future editions.
Two service members with Edmond ties are among the war heroes who will be inducted later this year into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.
Five inductees are deceased, including two who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism. One inductee will receive the Maj. Gen. Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Service Award. Dollar, a member of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Army Reserve after Vietnam service.
They will be inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame during a Nov. 9 banquet at the Jim Thorpe Museum’s Events Center, 4040 N Lincoln in Oklahoma City.
Inductees in the class of 2013 are:
• Lieutenant Col. Michael E. Sloniker, of Edmond, who served in Vietnam where he flew the UH-1H Iroquois, AH-1G Cobra and AH-1S. Sloniker’s leadership positions included serving as a platoon leader, an operations officer of an assault helicopter battalion and as a battery commander. His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross. He retired from the U.S. Army on Oct. 1, 1990.
• Major Frederick J. Ransbottom, U.S. Army, who deployed to Vietnam where his unit was assigned to defend 30 mountain outposts at Kham Duc. On May 12, 1968, his area came under a massive attack, was overrun and he was killed. Officials believed Maj. Ransbottom was a POW, but he was not. In 2006, nearly 39 years later, his remains were found and returned to Oklahoma. His medals and decorations include the Silver Star and Purple Heart. His mother lives in Edmond.
• Sergeant First Class Tony K. Burris, who died Oct. 9, 1951, on Heartbreak Ridge in Korea where his heroic action resulted in him being awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
• First Lt. Frederick F. Henry, who was a platoon leader when his men were attacked by a numerically superior enemy force near Andong, Korea. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, two Bronze Star Medals and two Purple Hearts posthumously.
• Major Gen. Nicholas S. Krawciw, who was born in Poland and lived in Germany during World War II. At age 14, he came to America. In 1962-63, he served in Vietnam where he was severely wounded in an ambush. During his combat tours, he earned six decorations for heroism.
• General Edwin H. Burba Jr., who was nominated by U.S. Rep. Carl Albert to West Point. He served two tours in Vietnam and was seriously wounded during his second. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during a battle in 1968.
• Lieutenant Col. William R. Schwertfeger, who flew 352 combat missions in Vietnam. In 1972, he was orbiting a potential enemy site when his F-4 was hit by a Russian missile that crippled the F-4, forcing him to land amongst North Vietnamese soldiers. He and his weapons system officer were held 407 days as POWs at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” His medals include three Silver Stars, four Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Purple Hearts, 34 Air Medals and the Prisoner of War Medal.
• Captain Robert J. Kelsey, U.S. Navy, who participated in air operations over North and South Vietnam. He was deployed twice with a VA-105 Squadron to the Mediterranean Sea. During his Naval career he flew more than 3,500 hours. His medals include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Meritorious Service Medals and 20 Air Medals with “Vs.” He died of cancer in June 1992.
• Lieutenant Col. Dudley J. Britton, who was serving in an armored infantry battalion in August 1944 when the unit landed eight miles from Utah Beach during the World War II Normandy Invasion. Britton fought in Europe and was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry for his actions in Belgium at the battle of St. Vith on Dec. 22, 1944. He was wounded and awarded his First Oak Leaf Cluster in addition to his Purple Heart Medal. Britton died in 1992.
• Lieutenant Col. Jerry P. Orr, of Lawton, who will receive the Maj. Gen. Douglas Dollar Distinguished Service Award. Twice wounded in combat, in 1958 he deployed to Korea, serving as a platoon leader and forward observer with the 1st Battalion, 19th Field Artillery. In 1968, he served in Vietnam where he encountered some of the most intense ground combat in the Central Highlands. His awards include two Bronze Star Medals with “V” for valor, two Purple Hearts, three Meritorious Service Medals, eight Air Medals and the Army Commendation Medal.
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Editor’s note: The honorees with Edmond connections will be profiled in future editions.
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SLIDESHOW: Freezing temps keep many at home Friday
Edmond residents awoke to a winter wonderland and the realities of getting to their vehicles and driving on snow-packed streets. Even though the storm system began moving out of Oklahoma Friday, a state official cautioned residents to not disregard safety measures too soon.
During the coming days, the Edmond area will experience sub-freezing daytime temperatures and nighttime lows in the teens and single digits.
Logan Co. investigation nets 7 arrests
Logan County officers made seven arrests in an investigation stemming from the reported theft of a $45,000 John Deere Skid Steer, police said.
Friday morning, after a week-long investigation, Logan County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Richard Stephens said earlier in the week the agency responded to a complaint from a victim of a larceny who had his John Deere Skid Steer stolen from Oklahoma City.
VIDEO: World reacts to death of Mandela
Nelson Mandela spent nearly a third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid before leading South Africa in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world. The iconic figure died Thursday at the age of 95.
Slick, hazardous streets cause more cancellations
Thursday's snow and sleet fall in Edmond and across the metro continues to impact schedules and events planned for this weekend.
South Africans mourn Nelson Mandela's death
South Africans flocked to the Johannesburg home of Nelson Mandela to mourn his death and pay tribute to a leader who led the nation out of racial discord by encouraging reconciliation.
Snow chances, bitter cold continue for Edmond
Snow chances and bitter cold temperatures continue for Edmond on the heels of the storm that created slick and hazardous streets.
The National Weather Service forecast called for a 40 percent chance of snow tonight and a 20 percent chance Sunday.
In addition to the slick and hazardous streets and highways, residents dealt with bitter cold temperatures. Highs were expected near 22 degrees on Friday, 20 on Saturday, 26 on Sunday and 22 on Monday. Lows were expected near 5 degrees Friday, 17 Saturday, 15 Sunday and 8 Monday.
Thursday evening, slick, snow-covered streets created havoc in Edmond as commuters and other motorists traveled to their destinations. Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said police officers were responding only to injury crashes.
Planners look at retail/urban housing mixes in downtown
A presentation by Freese Nichols consultants of Fort Worth was made Wednesday to city staff and leaders regarding the Downtown Master Plan.
The Central Edmond Urban Development Board has revisited plans made in a 1998 Downtown Master Plan through public meetings and presentations to protect the future development of Broadway.
“Right now we are at the point of providing an assessment of not only the physical environment, but also the market conditions,” said Wendy Shabay, an associate urban planner with Freese Nichols. The next meeting in January will focus on recommendations.
Volunteers keep HOPE Center afloat
HOPE Center of Edmond is the community’s compassionate response to families needing a helping hand. Giving of one’s time is valuable when it comes to helping the HOPE Center of Edmond fulfill its charitable mission.
The food and clothing closet for Edmond area residents offers a health clinic and limited emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities, said Chris Sperry, executive director. The HOPE Health Clinic focuses on pre-natal and obstetrics care for women.
The annual Edmond Sun Samaritan Fund Drive has set a goal of raising $165,000 for HOPE.
Nearly 14,000 hours were donated by HOPE volunteers in 2012, Sperry said. Their hard work has a lasting impact on the community, she said. Many HOPE volunteers were themselves clients at one time needing temporary assistance.
St. Anthony announces new outpatient behavioral health facility in Edmond
St. Anthony is pleased to announce the opening of the new Outpatient Behavioral Health Edmond facility which will offer partial hospitalization programs as well as Intensive outpatient programs for both adult and senior patients.
These programs are designed to help those dealing with grief, trauma, depression, anxiety, anger control problems, panic attacks, poor overall functioning and other mental health issues.
Thunder plans Holiday Assist toy drive
The Oklahoma City Thunder will have a Toy Drive before Sunday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, collecting toys outside of Chesapeake Energy Arena starting at 4 p.m. The Toy Drive is part of the sixth annual Thunder Holiday Assist initiative, presented by Cox Communications.
Fans attending the game and those headed downtown Sunday evening are encouraged to stop by the tents outside the northeast and northwest arena entrances and donate new, unwrapped toys to benefit the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.
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